Friday, April 29, 2011

Annotated Research in English (5)

Topics: persuasive writing; time in timed writing; writing to learn

Persuasive Writing
Question: What contributes to good persuasive writing?

Answer: “Use of logical appeals, five-paragraph structures, coherence, and number of words were strongly related to overall quality ratings.” R Durst, et al. 1990. P. 450.

Comment: Note the use of “five-paragraph structure” among the appealing characteristics in good persuasive writing. The summary did not say “five paragraphs.” “Logical appeals” and “coherence” would be expected characteristics. Not sure what “number of words” means. RayS.

Time in Timed Writing Assessments
Question: Does allowing more time in timed writing assessments lead to better performance?

Answer: “Allowing students more time to write generally led to better ;performance.” LB Kerchner. 1989. P. 450.

Comment: The word “generally” suggests that allowing more time in timed writing assessments does not hold for everyone. I’d like to see a test of the 15-minue SAT writing assessment for would-be college students. This experiment was used with third, fifth and seventh graders. RayS.

Writing to Learn
Question: Did those who wrote extended responses improve reading comprehension as opposed to those who wrote answers to short-answer questions?

Answer: “Students who did extended writing after reading scored higher on a post-test than students who answered short-answer questions.” BC Konopak, et al. 1990. P. 451.

Comment: I wonder what the “extended writing” students wrote about? What were the directions? RayS.

Title: “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” RK Durst and JD Marshall. Research in the Teaching of English (December 1990), 441-457.

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